Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A3 Newsletter: Exciting Weekend in Louisiana; Robert King's book tour; and more‏

Below is the complete newsletter just released by the International Coalition to Free the Angola 3. Please help spread the word!

Live In Louisiana - This Weekend

In a recent email planning meals around this weekend's activities, longtime Angola 3 supporter and House That Herman Built creator, artist, Jackie Sumell wrote:

"Erica, our neighbor/7th Ward mom is doing a fish fry on friday- and cooking all the food here at our house- I would propose also to make that a venue, and spend $6 a plate for homegrown happiness? IT'S SO NICE TO BE HERE RIGHT NOW, ISN'T IT?"

We couldn't agree more - here's to our fabulous supporters in New Orleans!!!!!

-International Coalition to Free the Angola 3

New Play "Angola 3" Will Premier Friday at Loyola University

As announced on Loyola University's website, the Loyola University New Orleans College of Law chapter of the National Lawyers Guild presents the play "Angola 3" this Friday and Saturday, Sept. 18 and 19, at 8 p.m., and Sunday, Sept. 20, at 2 p.m., in Monroe Hall's Nunemaker Auditorium on Loyola's main campus. A reception will be held on Friday at 7:15 p.m. before the performance.

Please help by supporting the play. Playwright Parnell Herbert was recently interviewed on You Tube and Blog Talk Radio. Read more at

A3 Event at Southeastern Louisiana University on Thursday, September 17

Featuring former BPP members Billy X Jennings and Malik Rahim; Jackie Sumell of "The House That Herman Built"; Robert King, a member of the Angola 3 who was released in 2001; and a screening of the movie "The Angola 3: Black Panthers and the Last Slave Plantation."


Campus Organization Seeks the Release of the Angola 3

Contact Person:
Rebecca Hensley (Phone 985-201-4393)

Featuring former BPP members Billy X Jennings, Malik Rahim; Jackie Sumell of "The House That Herman Built"; Robert King, a member of the Angola 3 who released in 2001; and a screening of the movie "The Angola 3: Black Panthers and the Last Slave Plantation. The Southeastern Louisiana University Student Union complex will be the location of a major regional event on Thursday, September 17th, when the Southeastern Sociological Association student organization hosts an event supporting the release of Albert Woodfox and Herman Wallace, the two remaining incarcerated members of the Angola 3. Originally targeted as Black Panther Party members for successfully organizing the prisoners at the infamous Angola Prison in the early 1970's to stop prisoner-to-prisoner violence, Woodfox and Wallace were framed for the murder of a White guard in 1972 and placed in 6' X 9' single cells for 23 hours per day ever since.

A visit from U.S. Representative John Conyers, chair of the House Judiciary Committee, in 2008 garnered the two men several months in a specially designed dorm, but they have since been returned to their earlier conditions. Human rights organization Amnesty International has reported that the two may have now been held in solitary confinement longer than anyone of whom they are aware in any country ever.

"Even after a State Judicial Commissioner recommended the reversal of Wallace's conviction because of prosecutorial misconduct and despite Woodfox' conviction being overturned twice now, both men remain in solitary confinement yet," said Rebecca Hensley, S.S.A. advisor and sociology instructor at the University.

The event will feature award-winning documentaries and internationally-recognized speakers, including author and activist Robert King, who as the third member of the Angola 3, was released in 2001 after himself spending 29 years in solitary confinement. Besides calling for the immediate release of Woodfox and Wallace as a long overdue act of simple justice, however, the students will also use the event to celebrate the survival of the two activists by serving jambalaya and dancing to the music of a reggae band. Formal presentations will occur in the Student Union and other activities will occur in the area of the Union from 10:00 a.m. until 4:00 p.m.

A related event is the world premier of "Angola 3," a new play by award-winning playwright Parnell Herbert, opening at Loyola University Nunemaker Hall at 8:00 p.m. on Friday, September 18th, and showing on Saturday, September 19th, at 8:00 p.m. and Sunday, September 20th, at 2:00 p.m.

Robert King's East Coast Book Tour and Interview on KBOO Radio
(PHOTO: The day of Robert King's release from Angola in 2001)

--Listen to the September 10, KBOO Radio show here.

Sept. 23, Wednesday:
Busboys and Poets, 14th st, 6:30 pm, Washington DC

Sept. 24, Thursday:
At George Mason University, 4:30 pm, Fairfax VA

Sept. 25, Friday:
At Baltimore Bookfair, 6 pm (co-sponsored by Jericho)

Robert Hillary King's new book From the Bottom of the Heap: The Autobiography of Robert Hillary King is available for purchase from PM Press. King's autobiography won the 2008 PASS Award, and has been reviewed by SF Bay View, Black Commentator, Hour, Alternet, Political Media Review, La Presse, Albany Times Union, and The Times-Picayune

In 1970, a jury convicted Robert Hillary King of a crime he did not commit and sentenced him to 35 years in prison. He became a member of the Black Panther Party while in Angola State Penitentiary, successfully organizing prisoners to improve conditions. In return, prison authorities beat him, starved him, and gave him life without parole after framing him for a second crime. He was thrown into solitary confinement, where he remained in a six by nine foot cell for 29 years as one of the Angola 3. In 2001, the state grudgingly acknowledged his innocence and set him free. This is his story.

It begins at the beginning: born black, born poor, born in Louisiana in1942, King journeyed to Chicago as a hobo at the age of 15. He married and had a child, and briefly pursued a semi-pro boxing career to help provide for his family. Just a teenager when he entered the Louisiana penal system for the first time, King tells of his attempts to break out of this system, and his persistent pursuit of justice where there is none.

Yet this remains a story of inspiration and courage, and the triumph of the human spirit. The conditions in Angola almost defy description, yet King never gave up his humanity, or the work towards justice for all prisoners that he continues to do today. From the Bottom of the Heap, so simply and humbly told, strips bare the economic and social injustices inherent in our society, while continuing to be a powerful literary testimony to our own strength and capacity to overcome.

Albert & Herman

Herman Wallace
Elayn Hunt Correctional Center
Unit 5, D-Tier
PO Box 174
St Gabriel, LA 70776

Albert Woodfox
CCR, Lower A5, # 13
Louisiana State Penitentiary
Angola, LA 70712

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